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Mircea Eliade
1907-1986 (Age at death: 79 approx.)

Mircea Eliade (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈmirt"�͡ʃe̯a eliˈade]; March 13 [O.S. February 28] 1907 - April 22, 1986) was a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, and professor at the University of Chicago. He was a leading interpreter of religious experience, who established paradigms in religious studies that persist to this day. His theory that hierophanies form the basis of religion, splitting the human experience of reality into sacred and profane space and time, has proved influential. One of his most influential contributions to religious studies was his theory of Eternal Return, which holds that myths and rituals do not simply commemorate hierophanies, but, at least to the minds of the religious, actually participate in them. In academia, the Eternal Return has become one of the most widely accepted ways of understanding the purpose of myth and ritual.

His literary works belong to the fantasy and autobiographical genres. The best known are the novels Maitreyi ("La Nuit Bengali" or "Bengal Nights"), Noaptea de Sânziene ("The Forbidden Forest"), Isabel şi apele diavolului ("Isabel and the Devil's Waters") and the Novel of the Nearsighted Adolescent, the novellas Domnişoara Christina ("Miss Christina") and Tinereţe fără tinereţe ("Youth Without Youth"), and the short stories Secretul doctorului Honigberger ("The Secret of Dr. Honigberger") and La Ţigănci ("With the Gypsy Girls").

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According to the legend, the marabout who founded El-Hamel at the end of he sixteenth century stopped to spend the night near a spring and planted his stick in the ground. The next morning, when he went for it to resume his journey, he found that it had taken root and that buds had sprouted on it. He considered this a sign of God's will and settled in that place.

...When no sign manifests itself, it is provoked. For example, a sort of evocation...
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Mircea Eliade

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